Giants

Surkamp goes four, Giants top Cubs 3-2

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Surkamp goes four, Giants top Cubs 3-2

BOX SCORE
MESA, Ariz. -- Eric Surkamp made another pitch to become part of San Francisco's rotation.A long shot to claim a spot, Surkamp threw four effective innings as the Giants beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2 Friday.Surkamp went 2-2 in six starts for San Francisco as a rookie last season. He gave up one run and four hits, striking out four.

"I'm happy with how I did," said Surkamp, nicked only by Anthony Rizzo's home run. "My arm speed is coming back a little bit. I ran into a little dead arm early in spring training. But I'm starting to feel better."Surkamp's chances to make the rotation rest on whether the Giants start somebody on the disabled list."Eric threw well," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It seems like he's developing more and more confidence each time he gets out there."For the Cubs, Matt Garza chopped into his sky-high spring ERA by allowing two runs and three hits in four innings. He walked one and struck out three."I pulled out all my stuff today," said Garza, hoping to be the opening day starter for the Cubs. "That makes it a lot easier when I need a weapon besides a fastball and a changeup.""I'm happy we made progress but I'm still not done," he said. "I've done this the last seven years. Six actually - it took one year to figure it out. I getting my ready at my pace. I know my body."Garza carried a 16.20 ERA into the game. He sailed through the first three innings before giving up two runs in the fourth."When April 5th comes, I'll be ready to go. It's one step at a time to get everything right, get everything in sync. The hardest thing about this game is getting back into the rhythm," he said.Rizzo's homer was his second of the spring. Catcher Blake Lalli, a non-roster invitee, also hit a solo homer for the Cubs.Cubs manager Dale Sveum has been preaching aggressive baserunning. But in this game, the approach backfired in the ninth inning.With the Cubs trailing 3-2, Joe Mather singled but was then thrown out trying to go form first to third on Brett Jackson's sacrifice bunt.For the Giants, Buster Posey went 1 for 2. He is scheduled to serve as the DH in a minor league game, then take a few days off, Bochy said.
BAGGARLY: Posey pleased after outing
The Cubs will play a split-squad set Saturday, with one game against the Athletics at Phoenix and the other being the first of two against the Texas Rangers in Las Vegas."It breaks up spring training," Sveum said of the Vegas trip. "I don't know if it's a reward. You're still playing. You don't get to enjoy Vegas, though I'm sure somebody will."NOTES: The game drew a packed crowd of 13,245...The Cubs picked up RHP Frankie de la Cruz off waivers from Milwaukee. ... Sveum likes what he sees from pitcher Lendy Castillo, a right-hander obtained in the Rule 5 draft. "He's obviously doing well," Sveum said of Castillo, who has given up one run in five innings. "He's been able to throw strikes, his stuff is there. His poise on the mound. ... and his athleticism and competitiveness has been far and above the Rule 5 guys I've been around."

Dave Righetti is the face of the Giants' rebuild so far

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AP

Dave Righetti is the face of the Giants' rebuild so far

There was something almost disturbingly surreptitious about the Giants’ decision to announce Dave Righetti’s removal as pitching coach (for a front office job) Saturday. Saturday, after all, is the day you typically bury sports news that isn’t football, or related to football in some way.

But that could just be us being needlessly conspiratorial. We’re willing to bestow, if not the benefit of the doubt, at least the lack of doubt.

Still, Righetti’s reassignment, and those of bullpen coach Mark Gardner and assistant hitting coach Steve Decker, makes it clear that however the Giants want to avoid the use of the word “rebuilding,” they are indeed rebuilding – just not in the traditional new-players-for-old way.

General manager Bobby Evans made it clear without saying the words that Righetti’s messaging had lost its efficacy with the younger pitchers, who for the most part had not been part of the franchise’s most glorious times. And since the only pitchers still on the 40-man roster who had been with the club for its last World Series parade are Madison Bumgarner and Hunter Strickland, Evans clearly concluded that the message to the new staff needed to come from elsewhere.

Now this assumes that the problem with the Giants’ pitching was not the talent level or the execution, of course. Typically, it takes a lot for a manager or coach to screw up his job so profoundly that he needs to be replaced – mostly it’s considered an environmental matter that a new voice saying the old stuff is sufficient. It’s really more alchemy than science, and alchemy is fairly hit-or-miss.

But it is change where the Giants feel they can change; their four starters (Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Matt Moore) and closer (Mark Melancon) are in for $70.8 million this coming year, so a full-on demolition is not cost effective, and the young’uns (Chris Stratton, Strickland, Cory Gearrin, Derek Law, et. al.) remain in that tenuous middle ground between dependable and disposable. In other words, there aren’t a lot of options for dramatic player change, and the Giants don’t look to be aggressive buyers in the off-season, crackpot Giancarlo Stanton rumors notwithstanding.

So this is the face of the Giants’ rebuild so far – Dave Righetti, Mark Gardner and Steve Decker. Make of the act and the circumstances of the release of the information what you will, but as it is neither the manager (Bruce Bochy is golden) or the players (who with only a few exceptions are decidedly meh, with a side of feh), it will have to do as the first answer to the question, “What do they intend to do about 64-98?"

I mean other than keeping a low profile about it.

Report: Two Giants hitters elect free agency

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USATSI

Report: Two Giants hitters elect free agency

With free agency set to begin five days after the World Series ends, two hitters that played for the Giants during the 2017 season have put their names on the open market.

Veteran third baseman Conor Gillaspie and longtime minor league outfielder Carlos Moncrief have both elected for free agency, according to Baseball America.

The 30-year-old Gillaspie appeared in 44 games for the Giants this past season. He hit just .168/.218/.288 with four doubles, two home runs and eight RBI. He was designated for assignment on August 3 and outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento on August 5. With the River Cats, Gillaspie hit .375 with four doubles in 15 games in August.

Prior to the 2017 season, Gillaspie signed a one-year, $1.4 million deal with the Giants.

As for Moncrief, the soon-to-be 29-year-old finally got his first call-up the majors this past season after eight and a half seasons in the minors. He debuted for the Giants on July 29. In 28 games, he hit .211/.256/.237 with one double and five RBI. While he didn't do much with the bat, Moncrief showed off a cannon for an arm when he patrolled right field.